Thread: Japanezsing
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Old 10-20-2010, 09:43 AM   #88
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,052
Re: Japanezsing

Anonymous User wrote: View Post
About those people who decided to be too easily insulted. I didn't want to leave Aikido and it was a huge dilemma. I was irritated and miserable by the change and the choices I faced. It made me unhappy. If other people are insensitive to my angst, turning to mockery and insults because they are insulted, raspberries to you. I have not been in the Aikido world long. I haven't met many others who do Aikido outside my dojo. I see, I was naive in coming here thinking I wasn't going to be the butt of jokes and a target for accusations and insults. I hope to never meet these people inside or outside a dojo.
I'm going to comment on this, and I hope you can step back from your anger and hurt feelings for a moment to think about what I'm saying. I'm not saying this to poke at you or criticize you; I'm saying it because I think it can help.

I went through a much too long period of my life when I would become very upset when other people didn't take my misery seriously (or I perceived that they did not). In hindsight, I can say that sometimes this was a case of people being callous or insensitive towards a very real problem, but at other times it was something else that I didn't really understand and/or couldn't accept at the time. Sometimes people could see my upset feelings, but also could see that they really were the product of my misreading a situation, or that I was getting stuck in feeling vindicated in my miserable-ness rather than letting it go and finding a way out. Sometimes people were standing right in front of me (metaphorically speaking) offering sympathy and help, in the form of showing me ways that I could simply let it go, either walk away from the situation or (with practice) remain in a situation and yet let certain aspects of it NOT be my problem.

So, right now you're feeling like you were made "the butt of jokes" and "a target of accusations and insults", and that people have subjected you to "mockery and insults". I have to say that that seems extreme to me...but I also know that at a certain time in my life, I would probably have felt the same. You're feeling very wounded, that's clear. Whether that feeling is justified or not is another matter altogether, and my honest feeling is that it isn't really helpful to dwell on that argument, from either side. "Proving" that you're justified in feeling miserable will do nothing to diminish the misery -- you might hope that it would cause all those other people out there to come to their senses and stop being such buttheads, but it rarely (if ever) works out that way. And "proving" that you're not justified in feeling miserable doesn't help either, not in the moment, because it doesn't tell you how to work from where you are (instead it sounds a lot like an argument that you simply shouldn't have been there in the first place).

I tend to think that if you can drop the need to justify, the rest of the problem tends to sort itself out -- not immediately, and not without discomfort, but you do become aware that there is a third way. That may not be where you're at right now, but I'll offer two suggestions that may be a little easier to work with:
  1. Don't hold onto those feelings too hard. They have a way of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy: if you are too ready to believe that this is the interaction you are having with people, you will tend to stuff all interactions into those misery-shaped boxes.
  2. Don't allow yourself to take pleasure in misery (closely related to 1, but there's a subtle and important difference). There is gratification of a sort in the feeling of vindication and righteous indignation...but it's much like the gratification you get from poking at an infected wound: yes, it sure does hurt, you sure are wounded, you were right about that...and you just made it worse. Learn to take pleasure in healing instead (this is much, much harder than it sounds like).
Here are a couple of videos that I've found helpful. I hope you'll find the time to watch some of them and that they'll help you too. The connection may not be at all obvious, but it's there and I'm happy to talk about it if you like...I just don't want to yammer about it all over the forum.
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